Managing director, partner
Mathias Illgen finished his master’s degree in business with a focus on marketing and business psychology at the Technical University of Dresden. After starting his career at Gruner + Jahr, he switched to MetaDesign in 1999, where he was a client services director and a member of the management board. Mathias Illgen is a co-founder of Stan Hema and is the managing director of the agency.
Brand consulting, partner
Stephanie Kurz studied design at the Basel School of Design and completed her examinations as a state-certified designer in Switzerland. She is a co-founder of Stan Hema following her former post as the head of brand consulting and member of the management board at MetaDesign. Stephanie Kurz is a member of the Art Directors Club (ADC) in Germany, gives seminars and talks on branding (e. g. at the university of applied sciences in Munich and the University of the Arts in Berlin), and is a member of the jury at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland. Stephanie Kurz is responsible for strategic consulting at Stan Hema.
Heike Schmidt received her master’s degree in communication design from the university of applied sciences in Darmstadt. After working for Pentagram and Neue Gestaltung, she most recently was a design director at MetaDesign. Heike Schmidt is a member of the German Designer Club (DDC), and is a co-founder of Stan Hema. Along with Andreas Weber, she is responsible for design at the agency.
Andreas Weber studied design at the Basel School of Design and completed his examinations as a state-certified designer in Switzerland. He was a member of the management board at MetaDesign, where he most recently was the creative director and head of the Düsseldorf office. Andreas Weber is a co-founder of Stan Hema, and along with Heike Schmidt he is responsible for design at the agency. In late 2013 he also received his certification as a business coach. Andreas has been lecturing on branding at conferences and universities (MD.H Mediadesign Hochschule, EBC Euro-Business-College for instance).
Doris Schlieper already discovered her fascination for the strategic dimension of design as a graphic design student at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld. That led her to complete her studies at the Cologne International School of Design in 2002, which systematically integrates the classic design disciplines like no other university in Germany. Since then Doris Schlieper has been advising both clients (e.g. Volkswagen Design Strategy) and branding agencies in design and marketing strategy, including Stan Hema since 2014.
Mathias Schulz already worked as a freelance designer during his studies at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague and FH Mainz (B.A., 2014). He focused his education on the concept design of cross-media communication and design solutions. In February 2016 he joined our designers. Mathias started his master studies in social and business communication at the UdK Berlin in the 2019/20 winter semester and has been strengthening our strategic consulting (part-time) since then.
Zişan Bay received her BA degree in business from the bbw University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. In her thesis, she explored the topic of branding in the context of social networks. During her studies and internships, she worked in the Berlin start-up scene, including a stint in social, online, and content at Styllight und Amorelie. Since March 2017 Zişan Bay has been part of both the strategic consulting and editorial team at Stan Hema.
Sonja Knecht was born in Indonesia, grew up in Venezuela and is deep-rooted in Deutsch. Explorations as a graphic artist led the graduate translator to typography and to her passion: text. Text as language, designed. The expert for verbal identity, corporate wording and brand language has been supporting agencies, their clients and her own since 1997; she was head of text and communications at Erik Spiekermann (SpiekermannPartners, Edenspiekermann) from 2008 to 2015. She set up a 30-strong editorial team for TYPO Talks. Sonja Knecht has been moderating, delivering workshops, holding lectures, and teaching at the Berlin University of the Arts and other universities since 2016. She joined Stan Hema in July 2019.
Tanja Fiedler contributes more than two decades of experience as a journalist and editor: working firstly as a freelance journalist, she published reports, portraits, and interviews in reputable German media, such as Spiegel, Architektur & Wohnen, mare, and the Berliner Zeitung. After a brief time out with her family, she got a taste of agency life by chance in 2005 and has focused on strategic corporate communication since then. Today she writes and designs for companies and advises clients on how to sum up and publicise their story. Before joining Stan Hema, Tanja Fiedler worked as Senior Editor for 3st Kommunikation (Mainz) and Rethink Everything (Berlin) and has been part of our team since 1 March 2019.
Anne Mauersberger worked as a legal assistant until 2000, when she joined MetaDesign as the project assistant for the Volkswagen team. Within a short time she was promoted to assistant to the executive board. In 2007 she became a project manager, a role in which she was also responsible for the Volkswagen brand and Volkswagen Group budgets, most recently as the senior client manager. In January 2016 she joined Stan Hema as a project lead.
Felix Becker completed his bachelor of science at the Media University in Stuttgart, where he focused on concepts and management of web-based applications. At the beginning of 2014 he began working at the Berlin-based advertising agency 3pc as a project lead and concept developer. In March 2017 he joined the project management team for digital media at Stan Hema. Felix does volunteer work for Metacollect, an open data initiative that supports social projects.
Digital communications consulting
Gerd Nusser studied Law at the University of Passau. He specialised in information and communication law as well as e-commerce. He moved to Berlin in 2015, where he changed careers and became a project manager of digital business at the communication agency Torben, Lucie und die gelbe Gefahr (TLGG). He also pursued his studies in Media & Management at Steinbeis School of Management (B. A., 2018) while he was still working. After a detour in the world of Content & Campaigning at the agency Brandpunkt, we were able to add him to our team at Stan Hema in 2018.
André van Rueth
André van Rueth studied Communication Design at the Hochschule Düsseldorf, University of Applied Sciences first and then successfully completed the Gutenberg Intermedia Master’s course in Mainz. After two years as an independent communication designer, he moved to Berlin in the late summer of 2018. Since then he has been part of our design team. André’s focus is on the social challenges for design: the “Iamgod—Aesthetic and Semiotic Research and Development” platform and digital type foundry that he co-developed researches solutions in this field.
Cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary: that’s Andrea Karch’s motto. She joined Stan Hema in September 2017 as a designer. Andrea completed her B.A. in integrated design at the HfK in Bremen, and went on to receive her Master of Fine Arts in design from the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. She spent one semester in Cairo, Egypt as part of the DAAD program in 2012, and has gained professional experience as an intern, as a freelancer, and in various collaborations in New York and Amsterdam. Andrea designs, researches, writes, observes, and performs—and can be found anywhere cultures intermingle and societies are in flux.
Eduard Warkentin carefully selected the University of Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd as his place to study because its interaction design department has an excellent reputation that goes far beyond Germany’s borders. He went on to do internships on the web design team at Auroville, a universal city project in southern India that is recognized by the UNESCO, as well as at the agency Neue Gestaltung in Berlin. There he was most recently a senior interaction designer and front-end developer. In September 2015 he went freelance, and joined Stan Hema in the same roles.
After receiving his diploma from the Design School of Munich, Fabian Maier-Bode began working in magazine design as a typography designer. As a freelance art director, he has worked for such clients as the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine and GQ magazine. He moved to Berlin in 2014 and continued working on his own projects, as well as for Greige, a design office, and CDLX, a digital agency. He joined the Stan Hema design team in the summer of 2016.
Our trainee Fanny Geiser comes from the Röstigraben where German and French Switzerland meet. Fanny holds a Master’s degree in Communication Design from the Bern University of the Arts, after having studied graphic design at the École d’Arts Appliqués in la Chaux-de-Fonds. Fanny brings her first experience as a graphic designer at the Dachverband Schweizer Jugendparlamente and as an intern at Heutemorgen in Berlin; she comes to us through Fabian Maier-Bode, who she met last summer at the Typography Summer School run by Fraser Muggeridge in London.
Kathleen Raasch studied integrated design at Hochschule Anhalt in Dessau, the city of the legendary Bauhaus, and completed her bachelor degree, after a practical semester at our agency, in early 2015. In May of the same year, she became a full team member. Parallel to this, she took the master’s programme in visual communications at Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin from autumn 2016 to spring 2018. She successfully achieved her degree with the thesis on “Synaesthetic forms of perception during creative processes—a design-critical discourse between synaesthesia and design”.
Claudia Luisa Müller
How do you make ideas visible and tangible in order to inspire others? This question was what drove Luisa Claudia Müller to study communication design at the University of Augsburg and the EASD València. Since she completed her Bachelor’s degree (2015), she has focused on the design of user-centered brand experiences. Following her first assignments at Novamondo (Berlin) and superReal (Hamburg), she joined Stan Hema in early 2019, where she has since conceived, designed and holistically developed digital projects.
Peer Hempel completed his Bachelor of Arts in 2015 and immediately started his master’s studies in visual communication, both at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam. Corporate design, illustration, and typography were the focus of his studies, and he was able to learn even more about them during his six-month internship at Stan Hema, which ended in March 2014. He rejoined our design team in August 2016, immediately after completing his master’s thesis, “I and the unconscious”.
Salina Gandji received her degree in graphic design from the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt in 2003. She worked in a number of different agencies in Germany and abroad before joining Stan Hema at the end of 2015. Over the years she has developed expertise in three aspects in particular: holistic design approaches for on- and offline media, communication strategy, and a strong user- and target group-based way of thinking.
After completing a one-year internship at the Bielefeld Municipal School of the Arts, Stefan Becker began his studies in communication design at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences, working as a freelance designer until he finished his degree in 2011. He then worked at Boros studio in Wuppertal and later in Berlin. After working at Strichpunkt, he joined Stan Hema in July 2015.
After completing his training as a graphic designer at the Johannes Gutenberg College in Stuttgart, Stefan Buchner went straight on to study visual communication. In spring 2019, he completed his B.A. at HTWG in Constance—with a short intermezzo as a design intern at studio stg in Berlin—with his final Bau App project. He not only conceived the brand strategy and appearance for this architectural travel guide, which is aimed at lovers of the modern age, but also generated exemplary textual and visual content. Research trips in the footsteps of Le Cobusier and his contemporaries took him all over Europe.
Wolfram Kornemann did his vocational training as a cabinetmaker before his passion for design led him to a degree in communication design, which he finished at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam in 2011. He went on to do a traineeship at MetaDesign before joining Neue Gestaltung in 2012 as a designer. In the meantime he has done a number of freelance projects, and joined the creation team at Stan Hema in the summer of 2015.
Daniel Vandré studied physics at the Free University of Berlin, and worked as a software engineer in the IT sector for many years. In 2010 he started his own business as a service provider experienced in designing customer-specific application and in managing client projects. He focuses mainly on the final implementation of premium-quality print media in prepress and on designing templates and screen presentations. He has been working in layout and final artwork for Stan Hema since 2012.
So-Tsong Vandré did her training as a typographer at the German Federal Printing Office. She has been responsible for final artwork, image processing and retouching, layout, and prepress production monitoring at a number of advertising and design agencies. In 2000, So-Tsong Vandré started her own business, and has since been working on a freelance basis in typesetting, layout, final artwork, and electronic image processing. At Stan Hema, she is responsible for the premium quality of our prepress work.
Stefan E. Bischof
After finishing commercial academy in Austria, Stefan E. Bischof worked for four years as a marketing assistant for the Austrian national tourism organization in Paris and Frankfurt. In 1994 he joined Dietz Design Management in a similar function before switching to MetaDesign in 1996, where he was the executive assistant for company founders Erik Spiekermann and Uli Mayer-Johanssen for 15 years. Stefan E. Bischof joined Stan Hema in January 2011, where he is responsible for office management, and is also the first contact for anyone interested in working for the agency.